Once again, there was just a little too much Jamel Lyles for the opposition to cover.
Lyles ran roughshod on the Valley Huskers on Saturday afternoon, scampering for an unofficial 280-plus yards in the Westshore Rebels’ 45-28 victory in B.C. Football Conference play, and scoring three times, including a 32-yard punt return major.
He had roughly 160 yards in the first half, including an eight-yard score and added the punt return touchdown with .3 seconds left on the clock before midway as the Rebels’ shifty back impressed yet again at Westhills Stadium.
The performance easily puts Lyles over the 1,000-yard mark for the season (he started the night with 794) as the Rebels improve to 5-1 heading into bye week while the Huskers of Chilliwack remain winless at 0-5.
“That’s not bad, yeah,” Lyles said when told of his totals. “I came into the season knowing what I needed to do and I just want to keep it rolling.
“I definitely have a mindset coming into a season. I set my standards high and reach for the ceiling, trying to break through it,” said Lyles, who added an impressive 40-yard TD run in the second half, reversing field after it looked like he’d lose yards.
It was a strange first half as the Huskers took two leads on touchdown passes from Noah Falconer to Mike West (17 yards) and brother Elijah Falconer (41 yards) as they went up 7-0 and 14-7.
While the Huskers had success through the air, the Rebels hammered the visitors along the ground. Quarterback Ashton Mackinnon added a one-yard rushing score and found Nathaniel Pinto on a 66-yard touchdown pass in the first half.
It was the only completion of the opening 30 minutes for Mackinnon, who threw just the once as he saw spot duty. Starter Scott Borden was just 2-for-4 in passing for 20 yards in the half. Defensive lineman Kent Hicks completed a pass on a fake punt for 10 yards.
Noah Falconer hit West for a 66-yard TD pass on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter to cut it to 28-21 and he connected with Ryan Beaubein for a 57-yard strike with 16 seconds remaining in the game. Mackinnon added a second one-yard plunge for a major and Hicks recorded a short field goal for Westshore.
Kevin Gabriel recovered two fumbles and Devon Bell added another recovery and two knockdowns defensively for the Rebels.
Still, the team continues to allow a ton of yardage through the air.
“I’m going to stay on the positives. I’m proud of our run game and the guys up front,” head coach J.C. Boice said of his offensive line.